Are you religious?

Easter, Passover, spring break, holiday weekend. Let us unfurrow the brow and look at something elevated. It’s a small thing, a half-hour television interview from 60 years ago, but it struck me this week as a kind of master class in how to be a public figure and how to talk about what matters…

Is he religious? Here Hammerstein told a story. A year ago he was rushing to work and jaywalked. A policeman called out; Hammerstein braced for a dressing down. But the officer recognized him and poured out his appreciation for his work. Hammerstein thanked him and moved to leave, but the policeman had a question. “He said, ‘Are you religious?’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t belong to any church,’ and then he patted me on the back and he said, ‘Ah, you’re religious all right.’ And I went on feeling as if I’d been caught, and feeling that I was religious. He had discovered from the words of my songs that I had faith—faith in mankind, faith that there was something more powerful than mankind behind it all, and faith that in the long run good triumphs over evil. If that’s religion, I’m religious, and it is my definition of religion.”

~ Peggy Noonan, excerpts from The Wisdom of Oscar Hammerstein II (, March 29, 2018)


  1. Well, I could say that agnosticism is my belief, but I could find myself in that definition of religiousness. Enjoy the holiday break, David. Happy Easter to you and your family. Stefy.🙋

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A wise man. The policeman and Mr. Hammerstein.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. yes, then, me too – wonderful way to define it

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Good over evil” is a good religion to have. It is basically my philosophy as well. If all official religions would practice that, the world would be a better place.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes that’s a beautiful religion, and Mary Oliver religion too! Together they are gold ☀️🌈☘🍃

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hope you had a nice Easter, David.
    I agree, never mind defining the religion as per doctrines and laws and such. Basic being good over evil (which somehow is the basis if all religions) is the way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

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